A new year, a new new way of doing pocket money in our house. Mr 8 has done really well with his pocket money chores over the last 6 years. Yes you herd me right, we have been giving him something since he was 2 years old! At 2 years old it was settling in with teaching him chores he needed to start doing eg clean up his toys from the living room. They were simple but setting a good foundation for the future. Miss 2 is currently doing our new pocket money system that I will talk about below and doing a great job!
(Updated April 2019)
The problem With The Current Pocket Money System
For the last 6 years it has been the same concept - a list of jobs that need doing weekly on certain days to receive $5 pocket money. Anything he would like at the shops for fun he would need to use this pocket money. The problem now is that he is getting older and the items he wishes to buy are a lot more expensive. So over the last year I have been giving him 'advances' on his pocket money to be able to afford them. The reason I have done this is because the items that he has wanted are not just small 'junkie toys', they are quality items I know he will get a lot of use from eg a Playstation game second hand is around $30 and something he has gotten years out of. I would much rather him have something of use than buying junk for just the sake of buying something while he is out.
Another issue is that the jobs that he is doing for his pocket money are things he NEEDS to do now anyway at his age eg clean his room, put his PJs away in the morning, put out the recycling etc He NEEDS to do these jobs regardless of if he is getting pocket money or not.
A Better Way Of Doing Pocket Money
With Joseph now 8 years old (and his taste & needs more expensive) we decided that he needed to learn more about 'working for money'. In the year just gone he has gotten a sense of understanding that mum and dad 'work' to pay for things. It is how he gets new clothes, eats, goes on holidays and can go to his current school. So with that in mind, we set to come up with jobs he could do to get paid individually for instead of a set amount each week like previously. More of a 'work for your money' concept.
Take a better look in the shop at the 6pk available.
How We Work It
1. Age Appropriate Chores & Responsibilities - We have made a list of chores both the kids can choose from to do that are age appropriate - read Kids Chores & Responsibilities For All Ages - To Help Teach Life Skills for ideas on what you could set for your own children.
2. Setting A $ Value For Each Chore - We set a $ value for each chore, for example 'putting the family shoes away at the end of the day' is worth .50c. When they complete a chore it is written onto the 'My Weekly Jobs' printable. At the end of the week we add up how much they have earn't and that is their pocket money. We also have a '$ bonus' section for times we think they deserve payment for something he has unexpectedly done.
*** Tip - Laminate your printables so you can write on them through the week and then wipe out for a fresh start the next week.
3. Non Paid Responsibilities - They still have responsibilities they must do each week that they are not paid for. It is up to us if we think they have done these to an acceptable level. If they have not they do not get paid/ or get part payment for their existing paid chores they have done. Non paid responsibilities are for tasks that are life musts such as cleaning their bedroom, putting dishes in the sink, brushing their teeth etc.
4. They Can Earn (or not earn) As Much As They Like - This method gives them the flexibility to really earn as much as they want! Or if they do not do anything then obviously they do not ear anything and do not have money for teh things they want! Mr 8 is still figuring this one out, but is slowly getting the concept of working for his $$$.
5. Doing At Least 2 'Jobs' A Day During The Week - The rule now is that they have to do at least 2 chores a day during the week to get paid anything at the end of the week. They can do the same chore multiple times through the week and will get paid each time or they can do different ones. It depends on the chore and its availability/need.
6. Saving Their Money 70/30 Rule - Jordan Page from Fun Cheap Or Free teaches an excellent way to do your budget as an adult. I have come up with a similar method for the kids to try and teach them budgeting/saving now before they hit adulthood. So 70% of their earnings goes into their wallet for everyday expenses/wants. The other 30% is in savings - split as 20% to a savings for something specific they are wanting and 10% into their 'do not touch' savings account that is for when they are older and in need of something such as a car. Mr 8 doesn't completely understand this yet, but its at least a start.
They now have the ability to earn more (OR LESS if they don't do anything or their non paid responsibilities) than his previous pocket money. We no longer give him 'advances' for things. We hope instead to teach him to save for the items he wants first before buying (something we ourselves as adults are trying to constantly remind ourselves!). I'm sure it will take them a little while to get use to, but so far they are at least trying and I know they will benefit in the long run :)
Deciding What 'Jobs' To Work For & Payment Amounts
Deciding what jobs we thought were suitable for this new pocket money concept was a little hard to begin with. We wanted jobs that were extra on top of jobs he should already be doing such as cleaning his room. So we did have to be more creative and do some research for some extra ideas - read Kids Chores & Responsibilities For All Ages - To Help Teach Life Skills for ideas on what you could set for your own children. If I find they are doing the same chores all of the time and not much of anything else I will encourage them to look at the list and choose something else. Perhaps even help them to begin with to get them moving.
When it comes to deciding on how much to pay for each chore, we do keep it quiet low. The reason being is that they have the potential to earn a lot of money. So if they are doing chores that are $5 each and doing 20 a week .... well you get the math! I try and make it fair, but also encourage them to know what its like to really 'work for their money' and not just be handed a paycheck for next to nothing! Chores that are quick to complete and could be done daily eg putting family shoes away at the end of the day, we pay a lot less for .50c. For chores that are more work and with less opportunity we will pay $1 - $2. We do keep in mind the children's ages and what is a responsible amount of money for their age.
How It's Going So Far
So far Mr 8 and Miss 2 are doing pretty well. Sure Mr 8 complains every now and then but then he gets motivate when he sees the rewards starting to add up on the chart. Miss 2? Well she is 2 so shes motivated to do anything she thinks is helping and grown up. She doesn't care to much about the money but Im sure it wont be long!
I really hope things continue and then kids start getting a good understanding of what working and saving is all about. We will adjust chores and responsibilities as they grow up and as situations change. All in all I think this way of doing pocket money is a much better way than what we grew up with!
If you would like to try this Better Way Of doing Kids Pocket Money you can take a better look in the shop - Remember if you are a VIP Lounge Member you get this and all the other printables in the shop FREE !